5 Strategic Questions
of Winning in Business
"When you're number four or five in a market,
when number one sneezes, you get pneumonia. When you're number one, you
control your destiny. The number fours keep merging; they have difficult
times. That's not the same if you're number four, and that's your only
businesses. Then you have to find strategic ways to get stronger. But GE had
a lot of
Evolve a game plan, a
business strategy "number
one, number two"
Build on what the company does best. Have a
Unique Selling Proposition
giving customers value that
competitors cannot equal or surpass.
Become more concrete, more
focused. In business, the strong survive, the
weak do not. The big, fast ones get to play,
the small, slow ones are left behind.
There is a competitive advantage
of being the best – or the second best – that can, and should, be
exploited. Winners and
market leaders will be those who insist upon being the number one or
leanest, lower-cost, world-wide producers of
quality goods or services and those who have a
technological edge or a clear
competitive advantage in their chosen niche.
throughout your organization
Don't keep your number one,
number two strategy a tightly held secret keeping everyone guessing
about your intentions. Make it clear to everybody that your company has
a purpose and focus and is determined to become a most competitive
Shake things up, force your leaders to look at their
businesses anew, giving them a challenge to grapple with: the challenge
of staying number one or number two under constantly changing
competitive conditions. Set the bar a bit higher. It is healthy. It is
Exact the highest
highest standards and make sure that everyone in your company meets
Mediocre players will eventually lose out. Don't benchmark yourself
against your direct competitors - target much higher. If your returns
are nine and your competitor's seven, you are doing well. But can't you
Look for the quantum leap
Make surprise moves – shock your rivals. Shake things up while other
look on from the sidelines, sitting idly by while you knock your
competitors for a loop. The three critical ingredients of the quantum
leap are surprise, boldness, and shock.
Get rid of fat
There is no real virtue in simply looking for a fight. If you are in a
fight – that is , in a competitive battle to dominate the marketplace –
your job is to win. If you cannot win, it is best to find out a way out,
to jettison your weak business so you could live to fight another day.
Focus on your core strengths, and get rid of weak businesses that
slow you down. Create a synergistic
combination of star businesses.